Today the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new project to promote sustainable cocoa and coffee production in Indonesia in partnership with Olam Food Ingredients (ofi), Rikolto, Hershey’s, and the Government of Indonesia.
The Landscape Approach to Sustainable and Climate Change Resilient Cocoa and Coffee Agroforestry (LASCARCOCO) is a joint investment of $8.2 million to improve environmental sustainability in cocoa and coffee production, while improving the welfare of rural communities through increased market access and strengthened resilience to climate change.
LASCARCOCO will train 6,500 cocoa and coffee farmers in North Sumatra, South Sulawesi, and East Nusa Tenggara in sustainable agroforestry practices, targeting districts where production has declined in recent years due to the effects of climate change as well as tree aging, pest and disease outbreaks, and soil fertility decline.
“USAID supports Indonesia’s efforts to balance economic growth and conservation,” said USAID Indonesia Mission Director Jeff Cohen. “This new partnership will encourage cocoa and coffee farmers to adopt sustainable agroforestry practices that increase forest cover and diversify their crops, strengthening their ability to adapt to climate shocks.”
LASCARCOCO will work towards improving sustainable livelihoods through training on good agricultural practices and climate-smart agroforestry, where cocoa and coffee are grown alongside other income-generating crops. The project will also promote climate-friendly landscape management to enhance smallholders’ and local communities’ awareness, capacity, and involvement in climate change adaptation.
“Smallholders are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Without the right resources and inputs, they can’t grow enough to earn a living, and the world could face a shortage of the coffee and chocolate we all love,” said Ravi Pokhriyal, President, and Regional Head – Asia Pacific at ofi. “This new partnership demonstrates how the private and public sectors can unite to address these dual challenges.”
The LASCARCOCO partnership will create transparent and traceable supply chains for farmers registered with Olam’s Farmer Information System (OFIS) application, providing complete visibility of the environmental and social credentials of the cocoa and coffee produced under the project. Rikolto will support LASCARCOCO through extensive community engagement work with cocoa farmer communities in North Sumatra, South Sulawesi, and East Nusa Tenggara. The project aims to help farmers increase their yields while conserving 14,000 hectares of watershed and buffer vegetation by 2025. Cocoa butter produced through this partnership will be purchased and used by Hershey’s to produce its chocolate products.